At a Canadian Mosque, the Call to Prayer Rings Out Alongside Anti-Semitism

While at least one Canadian politician has been boasting of her efforts to obtain permission for her Muslim constituents to broadcast the traditional call to prayer via loudspeaker, Tarek Fateh observes some negative consequences:

On May 16, one Firas Al Najim gave his own call to prayer using a loudspeaker in the parking lot of the Jaffari Islamic Center in the [Toronto suburb] of Vaughan, where he promoted the views of the Iraqi cleric Ayatollah al-Sistani and then launched into tirade against “Zionists.” . . . Al Najim didn’t stop there. He basically asked for the end of the state of Israel. . . . And then came the reference to the “lobbies” that supposedly frame Canada’s policies.

This is what Muslims who have fled the tyranny of Islamic regimes such as Iran and Pakistan had feared. And it happened sooner than anyone expected: the use of megaphones around mosques to spread hatred and to do so under the protection of city bylaws rushed through by a scared bunch of politicians worried that they might be tarred by that obnoxious word Islamophobia that is simply a sword of Damocles hanging over the head of anyone who dare critique the actions of certain Muslims or their clergy.

As for the Jaffari Center’s defense that it has no relationship with Al Najim, Fateh demonstrates that the claim does not hold up to scrutiny. Canadian Islamic organizations, meanwhile, shifted the blame to those concerned about Al Najim’s rant:

What was fascinating about this sad display of hate is the fact that Islamic groups, instead of denouncing Firas Al Najim, chose to attack a local [politician], Gila Martow, who had slammed the hatred disguised as a call to prayer. And in a demonstration of . . . bullying and political cowardice, it was Gila Martow who had to apologize to the mosque, not Faris Al Najim.

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at Toronto Sun

More about: Anti-Semitism, Canada, Islam

Will America Invite Israel to Join Its Multinational Coalitions?

From the Korean War onward, the U.S. has rarely fought wars alone, but has instead led coalitions of various allied states. Israel stands out in that it has close military and diplomatic relations with Washington yet its forces have never been part of these coalitions—even in the 1991 Gulf War, when Iraqi missiles were raining down on its cities. The primary reason for its exclusion was the sensitivity of participating Arab and Muslim nations. But now that Jerusalem has diplomatic relations with several Arab countries and indeed regularly participates alongside them in U.S.-led joint military exercises, David Levy believes it may someday soon be asked to contribute to an American expedition.

It is unlikely that Israel would be expected by the U.S. to deploy the Golani [infantry] brigade or any other major army unit. Instead, Washington will likely solicit areas of IDF niche expertise. These include missile defense and special forces, two areas in which Israel is a world leader. The IDF has capabilities that it can share by providing trainers and observers. Naval and air support would also be expected as these assets are inherently deployable. Israel can also provide allies in foreign wars with intelligence and cyber-warfare support, much of which can be accomplished without the physical deployment of troops.

Jerusalem’s previous reasons for abstention from coalitions were legitimate. Since its independence, Israel has faced existential threats. Conventional Arab armies sought to eliminate the nascent state in 1948-49, 1967, and again in 1973. This danger remained ever-present until the 1978 signing of the Camp David Accords, which established peace between Egypt and Israel. Post-Camp David, the threats to Israel remain serious but are no longer existential. If Iran were to become a nuclear power, this would pose a new existential threat. Until then, Israel is relatively well secured.

Jerusalem’s new Arab allies would welcome its aid. Western capitals, especially Washington, should be expected to pursue Israel’s military assistance, and Jerusalem will have little choice but to acquiesce to the expeditionary expectation.

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at BESA Center

More about: IDF, U.S. military, U.S.-Israel relationship